Here I sit in The Barn, my shop/aka She Shed, after a nice dinner out with dh and a quick trip into Lowe's to look at sanders and ...... I am wondering what y'all are doing this weekend?

We are 3 weeks out from today from leaving for our first show of the season.  I am starting to feel it's crunch time.

Tomorrow when dh gets home he is going to cut some boards down to size for me.  So I can put some decorative but useful hooks on them.  When he is doing the cutting, I want to get a lesson on it so down the road I can do it myself.  For most of the boards I'll probably have to sand them to make them ready for paint or stain.  I work on painting and staining Saturday.  Then I'll get a lesson on drilling the holes and putting the hooks on.

I bought a 2-tiered pie crust table off FB marketplace today.  It needs a little work.  I work on my initial cleaning using some of the orange Murphy's Oil Soap in the spray bottle.  I'll probably use some Krud Kutter tomorrow.  I went through 2 or 3 washcloth-sized rags already.  I think I got most of it clean.  I would like to make a paint color decision tomorrow.  Though this is a neat looking table, the surface needs some work.  I'm going to use some sandpaper, possibly some liquid sand on it.  Who knows, if I get the surface looking good enough I may restain it.  I am thinking it will need paint though.

I will probably work on some coasters as well.  That is something I can do regardless of the weather.  The weather is supposed to rainy off and on all weekend so it is good that I have some a place out of the weather to work.  I am working my way out of doing the travertine coasters.

My source for the tile no longer exists due to retirement due to health issues.  They were ordering for me and I could order as little as 1 case if I wanted to.  They did not charge me shipping.  What usually happened is that they had other orders they were putting in for big jobs, residential builds/remodels and commercial too.  I strongly suspect they added my order in on a big order, but did not charge my product to the big job.  They charged it out to me.  No matter what you order, shipping is $50.  Usually I ordered no more than 3 cases, 4 on rare occasion, but did this several times a year.  These contractors ordering dozens of cases of tile were being charged $50 though they ordered a ton more than I did.  This mom and pop company were not greedy .. they could have charged me $50 but didn't.  My few cases were not going to cost them any extra.

I have checked in multiple places around town.  Shipping is $50 no matter who I talked to, including mom and pop stores.  I checked one of the two big box stores and they can order it but not in the color I want.  So when I use up what tile I have, that'll be it for the coaster business. :(

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  • John and I got up this morning and worked on cutting some scrap wood.  I am using it for various things.  One thing is to make a wall decor with decorative hooks on it.  The other thing is to make decorative photo blocks.  I got a photo block finished this evening.  I am including a photo of it.


    • Central PA here. Friday I woke up to water in my basement and a sump pump with  broken hose that just could not work fast enough. Plumber, then after he left torrential rain, and more water entering the basement so hard that it sounded like running bathtub water in the back of my basement into the already 6, then 8, 10, 12 and more inches of water. Did I mention that I couldn't see anything because the electricity went off?  

      Electric was not scheduled to come back on for 4 hours. So what to do? I started bailing, my husband came home and bailed along with me, also brought another pump home for after the electric came back on so that we could run two. It's all out now. I haven't tested the furnace.

      Our small town was hit pretty hard.

      That was enough drama for awhile.   (smile)

  • Putting together orders is a good idea for artists to get best pricing and shipping cost. I ordered about 24 sides of leather (12 cows worth) last week from tannery in St. Louis.  It included some leather for the journeyman I trained who has a booming saddle repair and art business going now. Still, it comes to over $175-$200/side making leather more expensive than meat these days; almost $10/pound for some tannages. If you buy small quantities from a jobber, the price may be 30-50% higher. Buddy up guys.

    • Yes, if you can find someone to do it with, it works.  I have not come across anyone doing the coasters that I can split an order with.

  • We got home from  Carbondale, CO show Monday after taking a back road around Glenwood Canyon. Nice paved/dirt trek with mountain grades, one track in places and Colorado scenery. I love driving on mountain roads with loaded truck. I'm unloaded, stuff is put away, belts have been inventoried, and ready I'm to get back to work on saddles and rebuilding inventory for last show this summer: Estes Park, CO on Labor Day weekend. Oil has been changed on both vehicles and now I have to repair the door on the Subaru with a metal plate. I still have body work on rear fenders of Suburban to do too. Squash gardens are producing about a box a week for local food bank: yellow straight and crook neck, round and straight zucchini, yellow scallop and delicata. Winter squash are looking good too with some gourmet new Japanese varieties besides the usual acorn, butternut, pumpkins, hubbard and crenshaw. I love the huge leaves and blossoms. I have to restock 8 oz., 4 oz. and 2.5 oz flask, a saddle bag, breast collar, reins, dog leashes, a lot of holsters and about 50 belts( plain and carved). Yee Gads, I'm supposed to be retired LOL. 

    • Richard, sounds like you have enough work to keep yourself busy!

  • Sounds like a busy weekend for you, Cindy!  It's always tough when a great supplier suddenly leaves - never seems to be good alternatives to take their place.  I just finished up a watercolor for a show I'm doing Sunday.  It's a small local show, but specifically geared towards my style of wildlife painting - a nature art festival held at the state park.  Gives me a chance to play around with my tent set up and take new booth photos.  Piece I just finished is my largest watercolor to date at 20" x 16", so definitely want to reshoot my booth with this on the back wall! So I'm hoping for no rain on Sunday, although it is in the forecast as of now.

    • I hope your show goes well financially and with the weather.  Hoping you get great photos of your booth with the new painting!

      Yes the weekend has been busy!  But it has been good!

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